Anthony Batt has turned the art of generating online buzz into a science. As the founder and chief creative officer of the Web-publishing juggernaut Buzzmedia, he turned culture blogs like Idolator and Stereogum into must-reads for the today's influencers. So it's no wonder that last December Ashton Kutcher tapped the 44-year-old Batt to become the president of Katalyst, where Batt coaches big-name companies such as Virgin Media, Intel, and GE on the best ways to expand their reach online. "The advice that I give to brands and individuals is very similar," Batt says. "
Upgrade your profile pic: "People do judge a book by its cover. If Todd's looking to get dates, that puppy-dog picture might work. But it doesn't really translate as 'I produce a TV show.'"
The missing links: "Sign up for groups that are germane to either your personal position or your company's position. Highlight articles that are important to those worlds, so that when people come to your feed, they see that you're clearly clued in."
Do more than "Like": "'Liking' is easy to do but doesn't really say anything about you, so leave a comment. That's a much more sophisticated vote. You're developing a relationship between you and that content, and if you don't say anything about it, that relationship is pretty weak. Be active!"
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Get with the program: "If you don't use Twitter, get off it. So if Todd's on there but not actually doing anything, he just looks like a tool."
Break out of the pack: "Twitter comes with a default background, but that's no good. Todd needs something polished, with a clean fit and finish. People want to see that he's thinking in a manner that shows that he's designed his digital look. He should use the same profile image that he uses on other sites. And in his blurb about himself, include links to his other content."
Follow the "right" people: "Facebook is for people you actually know, whereas Twitter is a place to connect with people you don't know but admire and find interesting. Todd should be following people who represent his aspirations and connecting with them through replies and retweets."
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Become a PRO user: "Sure, Todd's on there, but his profile isn't good, and that's actually worse than not being there at all. This is where a lot of professionals do their recruiting. So if you're all happy-go-lucky-I-just-wanna-play-online-and-do-social, then LinkedIn is not for you. This is a space for professionals, and it's key."
Get authentic endorsements: "Don't go fishing. Have someone who's worked underneath you say you're a great boss. Or ask someone to endorse a specific project you've done, rather than some general, platitude-filled statement about you, which no one really believes."
Connect with colleagues: "You're not just representing yourself on LinkedIn. Having a good profile also reflects well on the company you're working for. And if you're at a really big company, LinkedIn is a perfect way to make connections."